Ian McDiarmid (born August 11, 1944) portrayed Sheev Palpatine in the Star Wars films. He appears in every film of the prequel trilogy, as well as in Return of the Jedi. He did not play the Emperor in the original release of The Empire Strikes Back, but was edited in for the DVD release of the original trilogy. He has the distinction of being one of the few actors from the original trilogy to reprise the role of a Human character in the prequel trilogy.
McDiarmid also worked with George Lucas on Lucas's 1992 television series The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, in which McDiarmid portrayed Professor Levi in the episode "Paris, October 1916."
McDiarmid has also had a distinguished career in British theatre, working as Associate Artistic Director for the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester (1986 - 1989), joint Artistic Director at London's Almedia Theatre (1990 - 2002) and as a Board Member of the National Theatre of Scotland.
Recent and upcoming projects include a return to the role of Teddy in Brian Friel's Faith Healer (for which he won a Tony award) and in the world premiere of Robert Holman's Jonah & Otto, which marks his return to the Royal Exchange.